Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 Goals and Team Run This Year

Well hello there long lost friends, I've been MIA for so long I almost forgot how to do this.  No time like the present to restart and begin to hold myself accountable to the goals I will be setting for 2014.

2013 was good to me.  I started off the year with an educational injury that taught me more than 4 years of running put together.  I appreciate every day that I can run, it's not a guarantee, it's a gift.
A ran a few 5K's, a 4 miler, an 8K, a 10K and two halfs this year. I PR'd every race I ran this year which means I have me work cut out for me this coming year!  I had planned so much more but with the injury setting me back 2 months, I did not hit my goal of 1000 miles.  I have run 837 miles and plan on 3 more this evening to make it an even 840. 

Now onto the good stuff, 2014 goals.  I have been offered the fantastic opportunity to join Team Run This Year.  I am excited to see where this takes me and am going to be surrounded by some pretty awesome people in the meantime. If you want to join in on the fun and set some  awesome mileage goals, get motivation and support, head on over to Run This Year 2014 and get all signed up!! The link to the running calender that breaks it all down is Run This Year 2014 Calender
2014 Goals:
Running Goals
- Run 2014K (I'm not quite strong enough to run 2014 miles)
- PR my half in April (trying to get into the 1:40's)
- PR my marathon in November (OBX Marathon)
- Begin to train for an ultra for 2015 (just keeping on after my marathon)
Other Goals
- Eat clean 75/25
- Incorporate more strength training
- Better impulse control in all areas of my life

Like most, I have a ton of plans in place for my goals and hopefully NOT like most I will see them through.  I'm in a few groups on FB that I hope will help me stay accountable for my actions.  
Here's to 2014!! Looking forward to the changes coming. 

What are your 2014 goals?  How did you do on your 2013 goals?  Anyone injured out there and need a pep talk?!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Review

It's been two weeks since my last half and I think I am finally ready to talk about it!!  I went to Myrtle Beach for the Mini Marathon and the 5K.  I ran the 5K with my mother, her second ever race, and the half with a friend, her first half ever.

The 5K was great.  We got there early, plenty of port-o-johns, lots of time for photos with my mom. It was around 60 degrees with 98% humidity at the 7:30 AM start.  What a great time. The course was nothing spectacular, not much scenery, but I was with my mom.  I would not have changed ANYTHING, I just wanted to run with her.  We finished at a respectable 35:03.  A PR for her and a race I will never forget.

We spent the rest of that day shopping (walking) and showing Myrtle Beach to my friend.  A few laps at Broadway (more walking) with no water.  We then went looking for a simple grilled chicken sandwich and baked potato (my pre-race meal).  Do you know how hard it was to find one........ took us over two hours till we could eat. I had a beer with dinner and then lots of water.  Another beer when we got back to the condo and then off to bed.  I nor my friend slept for more that 5 hours.
We both woke up with no troubles, neither one of us slept.  Out the door to pouring down rain.  Thankful to have disposable ponchos, on they went and off the the LONG line at the port-o-johns.  We waited, it poured, we waited some more, it poured some more.  We finally got to our coral with about 10 minutes to go.  Stretched a little, chatted a little and then stretched some more.   All of a sudden the clouds cleared and the rain stopped.  The race started.

Now I have run a ton of these and you know that feeling you get when you start and you just KNOW it's not going to be good.  YEAP, I had that feeling by mile 2.  It was super humid, I was pacing with my friend, not focused, not listening to my music, more concerned about making a set time in my mind.  I think I had mentally quit by mile 5.  Not good!!

 This picture was at mile 10.  Let me preface this by saying, this course was 95% flat.  I train on and run 75% hills.  I had quite possibly the worst cramp in my quad but I smiled when she took the picture.
When we finished all I wanted was a bunch of bananas, a bottle of water and a dry shirt.  The finish was on the boardwalk and the wind had picked up and I was soaked.  I didn't even go get a beer (VERY unlike me).  I PR'd the race at 1:55 but that was NOT what I was shooting for.
I do have to say, the race/course was awesome. Myrtle Beach always puts on a spectacular race.  Not too big, great support, great swag, and the best medals I have ever seen. I have figured out where I went wrong and am going to fix it in two weeks when I run the Richmond Half.
Anyone just get that feeling during a race?  I know I'm full of excuses but when all that training goes down the drain, you have to beat your head against the wall and try to figure out where you went wrong!!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Hammer Review and Giveaway

Hey there friends!!I know, I know.  I've been talking about this Hammer review and giveaway for a while and the day is finally here.  I sit home with two kids with pink eye and me with strep throat so why not!!  I was introduced to Hammer products through a FB page, WRC-Ultra Running Club.  It's no secret to my hubby or close friends that I am eyeing up an Ultra in the near future and these ladies rock them out like an easy 5K run on a weekday!  They are such an inspiration and a wealth of knowledge and I feel lucky to be on the page.  Enough gushing over that.
I've been running for about 4 years now.  The first race I ever trained for was a half marathon so I've been testing out Gu's,gels and chews for a long time.  I practice with them on my long runs which tend to be on a Thursday for me and always found that I felt good during the run but for the rest of the day, I suffered from intestinal issues.
I've always heard about Hammer products, seen them at a few races but never got around to trying them.  I was convinced after reading a bloggers review of her ultra and the replacements she was taking during her run.  I gave Hammer a call and chatted with one of their fantastic customer service people about the distances I run, my weight and my stomach.  She recommended I take half a gel during my long runs or JUST the HEED fluid replacement.
Here's what I received in my first shipment.......
HOLY SMOKES is what I thought when I got it in the mail.  All the information I could get about Hammer Nutrition  and tons of products to try.  So I began to try them.
What I'm digging right now:  I LOVE the apple cinnamon, banana and tropical gels.  I think since I run so early in the AM that they feel more like breakfast gels than the chocolate and espresso.  I like those too but prefer the others.  I love the recovery bars and the HEED is good when mixed right.  The little Red Book is probably the best thing I could get.  I explains each product, it's uses and how to determine the right mix for your activity. 
Here's the best part....... NO STOMACH issues.  I have run with the gels for about 2 months now and unless I am dehydrated, I am not having the issues that I was after my long runs.  
I'm sold on these and even though I can go online and order the products, I prefer to call them and chat with them on the new products they have coming out or their personal recommendations. 
So here's what I'm going to giveaway.

There are two gels (Espresso and Chocolate), a Melon HEED, Vanilla Whey and a Vegan Recovery Bar (almond cacao).  Thought I would share the love and pass along a few of my favorite things!!  
If you can't wait or you don't win contact them and use code: 222037 for 15% off your first order along with free shipping.  I prefer to call them but if you are an online kind of person go to Hammer Nutrition.  

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++As always, these are my own opinions, I did not receive any compensation for this review++

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A lot of stuff!!!

Hey there strangers.  Sorry I've been super MIA, we've been traveling to Maryland EVERY weekend for special events and all my littles have been sick. No excuse for being absent but it's life and yes it happens a lot!!!
Half training is going well.  I've switched my runs around a bit to get ready for the 5K on Saturday with my mom and the half on Sunday with a friend.  This week I have the 4 miles on Thursday morning and then 12 miles on Friday morning.  We're four longs out from the race so I figure I'll get the 12, 13 and 14 in that I was hoping for even with a flare up of plantar fasciitis.

After the half in October I have another half in November and then I get a few weeks off.  Thinking of trying T25 and joining up with BeachBody and becoming a coach.  I love their stuff and actually don't mind their shakes so I think it may be a good fit for me.

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a Sugar Detox Telecourse presented by Laura Piefer from Mommy Run Fast.  She and the course were awesome.  Topics covered included: how to start a sugar detox, 10 tips on overcoming sugar addiction, types of natural sweeteners, and sweeteners to avoid.  At the end of the course we all had the opportunity to discuss and ask questions which I found to be helpful as there were other people in the group who can not tolerate artificial sweeteners like me.  Check for out at Mommy Run Fast or on Facebook.  

This actually feeds well into my next giveaway that I will be posting next week. I have fallen head over heels for Hammer Nutrition products. I love the gels, HEED, vegan recovery bars and whey.  I will be giving away some of my favorites along with a code that will get you 15% off your first order and free shipping.  Look for it next week!!!

Last bit of FANTASTIC news....... I am now a TDF (Train Dirty Fitness) Ambassador.  This is a group of supportive, kick ass women who I am so humbled to be a part of.  Keep an eye out for great things to come with this wonderful group of women!!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Diamond Candle Review and giveaway

Diamond Candles reached out to me and asked me to review their product so I thought, I love candles, I love jewelry!! 

I decided on the Orchid Meadow.  I love the scent of orchid and thought the piece of jewelry would be in the purples family and that's what I was shooting for!  Here's some product information from the company.
100% soy candles; eco-friendly and natural. We don't want to be just another candle company using poor quality wax - we want to bring you premium 100% soy candles that truly display beauty and environmentally friendly materials. We want to provide you with a stellar product that promotes continued sustainability through the use of soy beans straight from mother earth.
When you light the wick of one of our Diamond Candles, you'll experience unsurpassed bliss - a clean fragrance that fills up a room to take you away to paradise. We give you fair warning: These candles become addictive. Once you light one, you'll be begging for another soon to come!

I loved the fact that the candles are all natural and environmentally friendly.  I was hesitant to try them as some candles I have burned in the house have given me a headache but this one didn't. Great scent and no headache = happy me!!  So I burned it for a day or two and here's the piece that I discovered.
Very pretty and I like I said, I love purple.  
Now to the good part, the giveaway.  Diamond Candles is giving away a candle to one of my lucky readers.  Follow the rafflecopter.

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Goals, racing and a giveaway!!

Posting a day late but thought I would check my August goals and set some September goals and a GIVEAWAY!!

Let's start with August goals:
1. Run 85+ miles (I started my half plan on the 30th of July)..... Totally killed this one, ran 100 miles this month
2. Complete the August Core Focus Challenge with Sneakers and Fingerpaints..... once again nope, didn't do it.  I wasn't feeling challenged so I stopped.
3. Foam Roll 3 x week..... lucky if I did it twice a week
4. Complete Plank challenge (doing one, 1 minute plank for the day #)... was doing fantastic and then the monthly stomach issues started and I took a break and then restarted.

All in all, I think August went pretty good. I was plagued again with stomach issues, handled a bachelorette party, bridal shower, two orientations, sending my oldest off to kindergarten, sending my twins off to preschool for the first time, soccer practice, gymnastics, sports class, work and training/racing.

New goals for September:
1. Run 100 miles (PF flare up right now, hoping to still meet this goal)
2. Complete personal plank, tricep dip and push-up goal
3. Give up soda
4. Foam roll 3x week

I think they are all attainable.  The rolling and soda goal are going to be tough.  I drink probably one a day and LOVE them but we'll see what drinking more water does for me!!

Now onto the review of the Charlottesville Women's 4 miler and the giveaway. I decided to sign up for this race on a whim one Saturday morning. A person from my running group posted on our page that registration was that AM and I signed up right away. It literally sold out in the first three hours so I was happy to get it.  There were 3000 women total (not huge by any standard, but big enough).
The race is in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Not sure how many people are familiar with the area so here's the gist of the area.  It's in the mountains, not real big ones but mountains none the less.  The course thankfully was more rolling hills than steep inclines.
I almost bagged the race, was not feeling it all week or the night before but I rolled out of bed a 530 and headed out.  I have no pictures of my racing outfit but I thought I was cute.  I wore my pink skirt, black "Sweat Pink" tank and my awesome compression socks from Sockguy.
I decided to line up in the front of the 8/mile coral. I'm so glad I did.  I ended up having to weave a lot but that's because the first two miles I was rockin out at a low 7/mile pace.  I know I was doing it all wrong but it felt good to keep up with the teen aged cross country runners and young 20-somethings. So when I hit the 2 mile mark, my lovely GPS watch decided to kick in and I could watch my pace.  I slowed it to 8:20 and cruised the rest of the race at this pace.  I was shooting for a 35.  I caught a glimpse of the finish line and saw 31.  I about lost my mind.  The time was ticking down and I decided I was going to finish sub 32.  That I did. I grabbed my water and bagel (thank you Panera) and got on the road.  I had to work right after the race so no post race celebration for me. So GLAD I dragged my negative Nelly butt out of bed and ran that race!!! But sadly now, PF has flared up and I am going to have to rest for the next few days :(

So here's the giveaway. The Sockguy gave me a pair of compression socks to review and wear during the race.  I love great socks and love compression socks so here's the low down.  They looked awesome and I did not cramp.  The heat and humidity was super high and a lot of people were having trouble with the heat but I did fine.  I loved them and will continue to hit up the site for more socks.

Here's what they sent to me for a giveaway.  They are a pair of "Save the Tatas" compression socks size small (womens 6-10).  You know the deal, follow the rafflecopter giveaway!!

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hammer Nutrition goodies!!

So most of you know I've been battling stomach problems and trying to train for a half marathon.  I've been eating the Gu's and just suffering the rest of the day with GI distress (you all know what I mean).  Well I decided, I really don't want to feel crappy after my long runs, my legs understandable, my stomach.... unacceptable.  So I took some advice from an Ultra Marathoner and am going to try out Hammer products.  They advertise that it WILL NOT cause GI distress.
So I decided I wanted to call and talk to someone.  I got a hold of them at 1100EST as they are on Mountain time and chatted with a very wonderful woman.  She explained the products to me and I went with the ones that were recommended by another runner.  I wanted to try out the small sizes before I purchased in bulk so I ordered 8 gels, 2 vegan recovery bars and 4 HEEDs.

This is what showed up on my door.  I opened the very larage box and was completely amazaed at all the extras they had sent me to try.  I am in love with the "Little Red Book".  I have my long run scheduled for Thursday and am going to try the gels.  The HEED is for my REALLY long runs (2+ hours) and the gels are for my short runs (1-2 hour runs).  I am excited to try them and will definitely let everyone know.  So far I am VERY impressed with this company, and NO I was not given any product to review for free.  
On another note, I took my babies (twin 3 year old sons) to preschool for their first day of school  I thought it would be harder than it was but my runner buddy (her son is in their class) was there and we went for a quick 5 and then got smoothies and chatted the rest of the time.  I did much better this go round than I did with my daughter in kindergarten!!
Anyone tried Hammer?  I'm always trying to get my hydration and nutrition right, any recommendations?

Friday, August 16, 2013


EVERY damn morning.   Why is it that I have to have that mental battle at 5AM every morning of my long run.  I try to go to bed early, I start trying to sleep at 9:30, have the alarm set but as soon as it goes off, I roll over and say "Do I really want to do this?"  I drag my butt out of bed, slap in the contacts, brush my teeth, grab some oatmeal, load up all the gear that I need to run in the dark and then in the sun and head out the front door trying desperately not to wake my kids.
This morning I had an epic battle in my head. I've been battling my stomach for the past week, stressing over a bridal shower, bachelorette party, my daughters birthday party and then her first day of school and it has finally caught up with me. I have a cold, the snot dripping down your throat, runny nose, sore throat in the AM kind of cold.  That just screams, "GO BACK TO BED!!!" While running I looked at my calender, mentally adjusted my half program, told myself I would be okay if I only ran 7 this AM and ran the 9 next week. I had this battle from mile 1 to mile 6 and then I just said suck it up and go. It was cold, my ears and fingers were cold (I HATE having cold hands, I always am in gloves), I had to constantly spit because of the snot and I couldn't eat any of my normal fuel because of the issues with my stomach.  I had a myriad of excuses why I should stop, why I should decrease the mileage, why I should move it to another day but I was out there and I finally told that voice in my head to "SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP!!" I was up, I went to bed early the night before, I did everything I needed to do to prep for the run, I did not want to have to do it again on Saturday.  I trudged through those 9 miles, ran it at a respectable 9:00/mile pace (respectable to me) and called it a day!!
Anyone else have some running demons they battle with?  How often do you let them win?  How in the world do people run early EVERY day????

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Sorry for being MIA for the past few days.  I had to get through a bridal shower, bachelorette party, 5th birthday for my daughter and today is her FIRST day of Kindergarten.  As I write this, I am tearing up again. SHE was totally ready for this, I was not!! She wanted to ride the bus to school this AM but I wouldn't let her, I wanted to be there to watch her walk into school, I wanted to walk her back to her class, I wanted to grab her and put her back in the van and rewind back to when she was 3 and went to preschool two days a week for a few hours then I got her back for lunch. MY BABY IS GONE!!!! 
Okay, I have got to move on and get over it.  I still have my TWO babies at home with me and they don't start preschool until next Tuesday so I will be a mess then too.  

Training has been going.  I am such a nerd about my plans, I feel like I am failing if I miss a run or don't run the specific distance that day but I've been having such stomach issues that I am lucky to still be running.  My diet has been cheese sandwiches and grilled chicken which hasn't always been staying down (TMI).  I moved my Friday run to Saturday and then skipped my Sunday run.  I did get my Monday and Tuesday runs in and today, thankfully is a day of rest.  I have a 9 miler planned tomorrow and hope I have enough fuel in me to get through it. My 3's and 4's have been tough enough and I know I won't be able to use any gels tomorrow so it's going to be a challenge. I am calling Hammer Nutrition today to chat up one of their people as a blogger recommended them for tummy challenged endurance athletes!! Hope they have all the answers I need. 

Training Schedule:
Thursday: 9 miles
Friday: 3 miles
Saturday: rest
Sunday: 4 miles
Monday: 4 miles
Tuesday: 5 miles fartlek

We'll see how I do, praying my stomach was just unhappy about my daughter starting school and it will get better as I calm down and let go of some of the control that I feel I have to have.  
Anyone else with an angry belly?  Anything work for fueling?  

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Kona Kase Review and ZuZa Giveaway!

The wonderful folks over at Kona Kase sent me their July box to review and as always,  it didn't disappoint. I didn't get a chance to take a picture of it before the family broke into it so I got this one from their facebook page.

The first item stolen from my box was the Perky Jerky. My husband LOVED this stuff.  Perky Jerky is all natural jerky.  It's made with 7 ingredient marinade, is low fat, low carb and high protein without preservatives, nitrates or MSG.

He got too the Enjoy Life Seed pack too.  He is a big fan of seeds (old baseball player) and ate them as a snack on a busy work day!  The are salty, sweet and crunchy.  The pack features sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and dried fruit. They are Gluten free and free of the top 8 allergens, non-GMO and vegan!

I got to try the Garuka Bars and and Babara Llewellyn Granola.  Both of these were great.  The Garuka Bars are named after a mountain gorilla in Rwanda that is in need of protection.  The proceeds from these goodies goes to gorilla conservation.  The Granola was even better.  I LOVE granola so this was definitely for me.  Rolled oats, sliced almonds, sesame and pumpkin seeds, honey sweetened and spiced.  It was as good as I thought it would be. Orders can. be placed via email at info@barbarallewellyn.com

Pro Bar  chews were used on my long run last week.  Bolt organic chews are loaded electrolytes, B vitamins, antioxidants, and complex carbs to get me through my run.  I love chews for shorter runs!

My husband tried the Caveman Cookies.  He thought they were a great snack. They are cookies made of simple ingredients, honey, nuts and berries, are all natural, grain free, dairy free, preservative free and naturally sweetened.
There are two other products that I haven't gotten to yet.  The first is the Health Warrior Chia Bars. Each bar has only 100 calories, 5g of sugar and is a great snack to boost workout performance.  The other product is the Body Glove Surge Gel. I haven't had to run any LONG distances that would require a Gel yet but am getting close.  The gel delivers rapid and sustained natural energy and contains 150mg of caffeine. 

As always the Kona Kase has delivered.  I LOVE their service and have received many of their boxes.  My family loves seeing that orange box show up in the mailbox and they have the best customer service!! Check them out at Kona Kase on the web or on Facebook.  They are offering $5 off  using the "GIFTSUMMER" code at checkout!

I also have my ZuZa giveaway going on until 8/12.  Hope everyone has entered and good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 5, 2013

ZuZa review and Giveaway!!!

Well I survived the weekend. I wouldn't say I made the best food or beverage decisions but I rarely do this type of thing so I am not that worried. My friend, the bride, had a wonderful time with all of us girls and it will be a weekend we will all remember the rest of our lives. 

Now onto to good stuff.  I recently was given the opportunity to review ZuZa  compression socks from Lunatikathletiks.com and here's my thoughts.
I typically only wear my compression socks during runs over 6 miles. Anything else, I really haven't found the need for.  This past week, start of my half training, I had a 7 miler for my long.  I woke up at my normal 5AM time, damn summer heat, slipped on my pretty awesome socks and out the door I went.  Okay, I fueled first and then I left.  It rained on me the first 4 miles which really didn't bother me but after it stopped, it felt like I was running in a sauna   The steam coming off the road and the heat beginning to build made it HOT!!  They kept my calves happy, no cramps so these are definitely keepers.  I love compression socks and swear by them for my longs.  I am going to try to start wearing them for recovery too after my runs get above 10 miles so I'm sure I'll have more to say about them in the future. 
Onto the other stuff. 
 Lunatik Athletiks is an athletic apparel company created with the extreme athlete in mind. The dictionary definition itself identifies a "lunatik" as being "wildly or giddily foolish, insane, and is characterized by eccentricity", all of which have also been used to describe particular athletes. Endurance and extreme athletes are often referred to as being crazy, insane or a "lunatik" for enduring the dedication, focus, training, sacrifice, and pain associated with their particular athletic endeavours . Lunatik Athletiks hopes to support these athletes reach their athletik goals and lifelong dreams by providing the highest quality athletic apparel.
Lunatik Athletiks thrives on the passion, focus, and determination of the athletik ethusiast. We are inspired by the athletic culture, the "buzz", the sensational fulfillment associated with athletic and sporting event participation. It is our hope that we can encourage more individuals to participate in any type of sport or activity by providing our athletes with an avenue to express their thrill-seeking, sport crazed identities through our high quality performance gear with extreme funky, functional personailty.
FDA and GMP graded facilities with recognizable quality assurance certificates and seals. The importance and functionality of compression socks have only just been recently discovered in the athletic and sporting world. Compression socks have been used for many years in the medical field to assist and speed recovery.st been recently discovered in the athletic and sporting world. Compression socks have been used for many years in the medical field to assist and speed recovery.

You can check them out at Lunatik Athletiks, on Facebook or on Twitter.  
Now the REALLY fun stuff.  Lunatik Athletiks is providing me with a giveaway!!  Enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 2, 2013

August goals and a Bachelorette Party!!

This is the month, the month that I will foam roll three times a week and complete a challenge!! I am starting this month off on a positive note as I pack up the car in preparation for a girls weekend/bridal shower/bachelorette party.  I am not looking forward to all the bad choices I will be making this weekend but it's only a weekend.
Here's my goals for this month:
1. Run 85+ miles (I started my half plan on the 30th of July)
2. Complete the August Core Focus Challenge with Sneakers and Fingerpaints
3. Foam Roll 3 x week
4. Complete Plank challenge (doing one, 1 minute plank for the day #)

I think they are realistic goals and I know I can meet each and everyone if I  keep my head in the game.

Half Training Week 1
Monday- 4.5 miles
Tuesday- 4.5 miles
Thursday- 7 miles
Friday- 3 miles
Sunday 4- miles

I've been trying to start back to my PT exercises for my glutes as I am always fearful my IT band will start screaming at me when I increase my mileage.  I am doing it right this training, increasing at the correct % and not overdoing it.  I will start speed training once the kids are back in school (August 20th). I've never done speed work but I have a feeling it will help!!

Race Schedule for August:
August 31st- Charlottesville Women's 4 Miler

That's it from my world.  Off to the wilds of Maryland and bachelorette parties.  I'm getting a little too old for this kind of thing!!!
FORGOT to tell you--- Tuesday I am reviewing ZuZu's from my long run this week and will have a GIVEAWAY!!!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July is almost gone!!

So July is almost gone.  For my running purposes, July is gone.  Today is my rest day before my long (I do mine on Thursday AM as I work weekends) so I thought I would look at my goals and see how I did!  I just got back from vacation and now that I look at them, I was doing a fantastic job until right before we left.

Here's July's goals/challenges:
1. Complete HIIT Challenge (Big HIIT)
2. Complete Ab Challenge (Busy Body Ab Challenge)
3. Run 75 miles (get 20 mile/week base set for training)
4. Foam roll 3 x week

I know I sound like I am making a ton of excuses but before we left for vacation I got food poisoning from some under cooked crabs and that put me out of commission for a few days too.  I did keep up the running on vacation, for more of quality alone time, than anything.
1. The HIIT Challenge lasted for about a week.  I started to feel a tinge of knee pain early on in the month so I went back to my PT prescribed exercises instead of the HIIT.
2. The Ab challenge was awesome.  I did the first three weeks without stopping and felt like I was getting stronger.  I have signed up for another Core Challenge the the challenge loop with Sneakers and Fingerpaints. I'm going to check it out as it goes as the workouts and schedule are not posted.  I love core work but sometimes find these challenges don't CHALLENGE me enough!
3.  I ran 75 miles this month. I did it, I got my base above 20 miles and have started my half program. I finished Day 2 yesterday and am doing my first long run on Thursday (7 miles) which I am totally looking forward to.  If I have plan in front of me I'm pretty anal on following it, almost obsessive.
4. Foam rolling...... the easiest damn goal on their and the one I failed at miserably.  I have it out, sitting there looking at me but I don't use it!!  Will add this one to August.

I did an impromptu 100 Push-Ups challenge this month too.  I did it too until the dreaded food poisoning and vacation.  I can do 100 push-ups but the extra work on my arms (added equal tricep dips) helped me.

Well tonight I will ponder my August goals.  I have no races this month but I do have a Bridal shower, bachelorette party, wedding, sending my babies off to school for the first time and tons of other stressful events BUT don't we all!!
UPDATE on my mom:  She is doing awesome.  Her shoes helped with the knee pain.  She ran 4 miles non-stop last night in 52 minutes. She bought a Garmin while we were on vacation last week and has gotten bit by the running bug!!  She is signing up for the 5K in Myrtle when I am doing the half.  I think this may hurt my chances at a PR but I wouldn't miss running my mom's first race with her for all the PR's in the world.  She's a ROCKSTAR!!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Pro Compression Review and Giveaway!!!

Compression socks..... do they work???  I'm a therapist and we have been using them with our population for years for improving blood flow and assisting with fluid management. It only makes sense that the running world would jump into this area, and have they ever!!  I've seen a ton of different socks out there, every color you could imagine, all promising to assist with either running or recovery.  I was interested in the running aspect of the socks, not the recovery....yet! So here's the science behind the socks and then I'll get into why I loved them!!

Pro Compression
PRO Compression socks are designed specifically to deliver both maximum comfort and speedy recovery times. The science is complex, but benefits such as improved blood flow, stability and comfort are universally understood.  The moment you put these socks on your feet and incorporate them into your game, you will feel and understand the difference.
PRO Compression socks are noticeably tight and require more effort to put on than standard socks in your drawer. But it’s that extra effort and much-needed compression that make all the difference. Be patient and your feet will thank you.
PRO Compression socks are the result of years of innovation. We started off with a unique design, used by endurance athletes for years, and added golf-specific enhancements for maximum comfort and performance. This sock was designed to keep you ahead of the competition. A better footwear choice is simply not available.


Our world-class design is complimented with specialized materials. Without them, it would be impossible to create revolutionary performance footwear. Cotton and wool  simply aren’t going to cut it in a world where the best athletes rely on the highest-quality gear. PRO Compression uses a proprietary blend of nylon and poly materials, optimized for performance, benefiting both amateur and professional athletes.


All socks are designed and manufactured in the USA, giving PRO Compression complete control over the quality of every sock we sell, from design through manufacturing and distribution.
Our goal is to deliver a world-class sock that will enable you to play better than ever and recover more quickly than previously possible.
We’re confident you’ll feel these improvements immediately.

Here's a picture of the beauties that I got.  I've been crushing on the purple socks for a while and guess what color they sent me to review......PURPLE!!!!  I wore them out on my long run yesterday morning. I do my longs around 5am in the summer as the heat and humidity can take you from a 7 mile run to a 2 mile run quickly!!  Let me say this about my long runs, I run a 2.2 mile loop around my neighborhood, I hydrate every 2 miles and Gu at laps 1 and 2 (half packet each lap) and then just hydrate for the last 3-4 miles.  I hydrated well the day/night before and was ready for the run.  The temps at the start were 76 with a heat index of 82 at 90% humidity.  I started out good, but by mile 4 I knew I was dehydrating quick.  Now in the past, my calves are the ones to go first.... this did not happen. My quads went.  That being said, I think a lot of that has to do with the marathon socks.  I'm going to wear them the rest of the summer on my longs and will get back.  My mileage is going to be picking up significantly because half training kicks in in 2 weeks!!!
Long story short..... I love them.  They saved my calves on my long run and I'm going to keep wearing them. Check them out at Pro Compression or on Facebook or on twitter at @procompression.  They have socks, sleeves, and full marathon socks to choose from and I love their current Sock of the Month.  
The folks over at Pro Compression were kind enough to offer me a pair to giveaway to introduce to my readers.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy rafflecopter!!!  If you can't wait enter JULY at checkout for 40% off your socks plus free shipping!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Charlottesville Women's 4 Miler Fundraising

I just wanted to put it out there that I am running the Women's 4-miler in Charlottesville on August 31st.  I am looking for donations to this awesome center that supports women in the Central VA region.  Here's a little on what the donations go to:

How can you support the UVa Cancer Center 
Breast Care Program? 

$400 Will provide screening assessments including: a 
screening mammogram, pap smear, clinical breast exam 
and colorectal screening for one patient. 

$220 Will cover the cost of one mammogram for a woman who 
can’t afford it. 

$125 Will allow 10 women undergoing mastectomy, the 
opportunity to receive a special Belisse bra to reduce 
swelling in the breast area and chest wall. 

$50 Will provide a newly diagnosed patient with a care 
package complete with Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book, a 
blank writing journal, herbal tea and a few extra other 
“feel good” items to help the patient throughout her 

$25 Will provide a Patient Navigation Notebook to a newly 
diagnosed patient. The notebooks contain information 
on breast cancer treatment options including surgery, 
chemotherapy and radiation. The notebooks also provide 
information on coping, resources and clinical trials 
available at UVa. 

$10 Will support education efforts to teenage girls about the 
importance of breast health, including breast self exams. 

$5 Will provide a woman with an assessment tool to 
determine if she is at risk for developing breast cancer.

If you would like to sponsor me, go to Make a Donation.  Don't forget to enter my name in the Runner's Last name Section (Hughes, Carrie).  
I thank everyone in advance for your donation!!  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Vitacost review

Vitacost was great enough to send me a mono shipment of products to test out and I was in heaven when my box finally got here.  Although the package was pretty much destroyed, thanks to UPS,the contents were prefect.

Here's a little of what came in the box!!  I got the Prevail Vegan Protein Powder, MyChelle Beautiful Age Defense Collection, and Indigo Wild Zum Package, and Power Paks.

The first product was the Indigo Wild Zum Bag Gift Set Frankincense and Myrrh.  Here's the product info:

Zum Bag™ Gift Set Frankincense & Myrrh Description

  • 9 Piece Collection of Mini-Sized Zum Favorites
  • All-Natural

A Little Wise, A Lot of Choice
Two out of three wise men agree on the Indigo Wild Frankincense & Myrrh Zum Bat -- It's an F & M marathon of deep, sweet and woodsy and a whole lot of all-natural goodies for smellin', sprayin', washin', and rubbin'.

Get a whiff of Indigo Wild's all-natural aromatherapy products -- infused with good juju, imbued with pure essential oils, endowed with magically aromatic powers.

Bag Includes:
  • Zum Oil -- Massage in a bottle with shea butter, sweet almond and avocado oils.
  • Zum Mist -- Spray away the funk in the trunk, closet, car, bathroom, and self.
  • Zum Wash -- Natural liquid soap for wash and wear hands and bodies.
  • Two Zum Body Lotions -- A lotion potion of shea butter and meadow foam seed oil.
  • Zum Rub -- Ultra-moisturizing shea butter salve rubs the right way.
  • Frankincense & Myrrh Zum Bar Soap -- Goat's milk, glycerin and heavenly essential oils - wise and woodsy.
  • Frankinfetti Zum Bar Soap -- A clean combo of Frankincense, Myrrh, Sandalwood, and Patchouli.
  • Zum Tub -- Moisturizing sea salt crystals turn a bath tub into a hot tub.
There was a lot tucked away in this bag. I opened the package up and it reminded me of college.  It smelled like the incense we use to illegally burn in the dorms!!:)   I loved the soap and the lotion.  They left a great aroma behind and made my skin feel amazing!
You can get yours at Zum Gift Set
 The next product up is the Prevail Vegan Protein powder. I loved this powder, it tasted great with my almond milk, banana and peanut butter. Not a chalky kind of protein shake powder texture. Here's the info on this one:

Thorne Research Thorne Performance Prevail™ Vegan Protein Chocolate Description

  • Vitality in Motion™
  • Gluten Free / Soy-Free / Dairy-Free
  • Provides Essential Amino Acids
  • 23 Grams of Proprietary Pea/Rice Protein Blend
  • 4,300 mg BCAA per Serving
For nearly three decades, Thorne Research, The developer of Thorne Performance athletic line, and the dedicated team of nutritionists, have been raising the bar to become the industry's most trusted global producer of nutritional supplements. Focus is on scientifically-researched ingredients resulting in hypoallergenic products with the highest degree of purity, quality, and bioavailability on the market. Even the containers are free of harsh chemicals and are xenoestrogen-free.
Free Of
Gluten, soy and dairy.
Here's the link to the product.  Prevail Vegan Chocolate Protein powder

Next up, my favorite stuff in the package.  I had originally asked for the sensitive skin package but they sent the Age Defense collection instead.  I am getting up there in age, turning 35 this month, so I could use the help in this area too.  The first of the collection was the Pumpkin Cleanser. I love this stuff, it smells good and doesn't bother my skin. Next up was the G2 Firming Serum, heck yes,  I love anything that firms my skin.  This stuff made my skin feel like it was sucking in, loved it!!  The Fruit Enzyme Mist felt refreshing on my skin, and the Sunshield SPF was great too.  None of the products bothered my skin which was great because I tend to have trouble with all types of products.  Here's the product info on this one:

MyChelle Dermaceuticals "Hello Beautiful" Collection Age Defense - Mini Series Description

Collection Contains:
  • Creamy Pumpkin Cleanser .25 oz / 7.5 mL
  • Fruit Fiesta Peel .25 oz / 7.5 mL
  • G2 Instant Firming Serum .17 oz / 5 mL
  • Fruit Enzyme Mist .17 oz / 5 mL
  • Revitalizing Night Cream .25 oz / 7.5 mL
  • Sun Shield Unscented Broad Spectrum SPF 28 .25 oz / 7.5 mL
Your skin is just like everything else in nature. As years go by, it can weaken and wear out. But fear not, friends. The bioactive-rich Age Defense products take a stand against aging and provide a visibly younger look.

Hi, there. MyChelle here. We think it's high time that skin care products quit it with the harsh chemicals and start fresh with naturally powerful ingredients. Now, you may be thinking, Skin care products that are effective and natural? Really? To chick we're tickled pink to answer, Yes and yes.

So now, you really can have it all. At MyChelle Dermaceuticals, we know beauty is so much more than skin deep. It's self deep. We give you what you need to always look forward to looking beautiful - today and every single tomorrow.
 Here's the link to MyChelle Age Defense  

I have ordered a few other things from the company, vitamins and supplements and they have been stellar to work with.  Here's a link to there website Vitacost.  Go check them out!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

PRO Compression socks deal!!

If you are using Pro Compression socks here's a great deal!!! They are extending there 40% off sale to August 4th so go get yours!!! Happy Running!!

Huge Summer Savings from PRO Compression

Get 40% off ALL merchandise at procompression.com, including their brand NEW Neon Calf Sleeves and Team PC Gear such as hats and running visors! 

Simply enter coupon code JULY at checkout. You'll save 40% and get free US shipping. Click here to stock up today: 


Hurry, coupon code JULY expires August 4, 2013.

Island Boost Review. What's your go to fuel?

Recently I was sent a few samples of Island Boost to try during my runs.  It promises to be easier on the stomach, require no water and provide immediate energy. I was skeptical and do not like to change my fuels due to my ever so finicky stomach and my analness for completion of runs and checking them off my list.  I tried my first one on a 4 mile run, the Blueberry Pomegranate.  It went down smooth, no water necessary and I took it right before I went out the door.  Tasted good, not thick like my normal fuel and out I went.  I got in a pretty quick 4 with no stomach issues and felt good.  The real test was my long run where my stomach ALWAYS tends to give me trouble. I took the second one, Passion Fruit, about 2 miles into my 7.  Went down good, tasted good and gave me a little pick me up that I needed in the heat and humidity at 5AM.  
They passed the test, tasted good and did not affect my stomach.  I only took one at a time and am not sure what they would do to my stomach if I took more than one but I am very happy with this fuel.  
Here's some product info:

Island Boost - Make Personal Best Happen
IslandboostAre you ready for fast? We mean, really fast. Not the kind of fueling that you have to have a bottle of water at the ready and remembering to take your fuel 15-20 minutes before you’ll need it. No. You take Island Boost the moment you know you need energy NOW to maintain performance levels and ward off muscle aches.  Or, you can take it regularly every 40-45 minutes to maintain your energy.
The energy in Island Boost is absorbed into the blood stream at more than double the rate the body can produce by breaking down stored energy or by digesting food on the go. Island Boost rapidly delivers the energy you need to perform and keep going strong while preventing the body from breaking down muscle mass.
Features & Benefits:
  • Faster fuel formulated with glucose, the fastest energy source that is absorbed into the bloodstream quicker to fuel muscles
  • No need to drink a bottle of water to dissolve the carbohydrates, they’re readily absorbed via the coconut water
  • No artificial sweeteners, flavors and shelf stable for a year
  • Delicious frozen for those runs on hot days
  • Vegan and gluten free
Island Boos Multipack
They can be found on the web at Island BoostIsland Boost Facebook Page, or twitter @IslandBoost.  Check them out!!!  

Have you ever tried Island Boost?  What's your go-to fuel?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

RunnerBox Review and Discount Code

All I can say is HOLY COW does RunnerBox know how to put together a monthly subscription.  I got this beauty in the mail last week and we have been tearing it up ever since.  I wanted to get my review up as fast as possible as I have a discount code that is good till the July 13th and I wanted my friends to have a chance to use it!!
Here's how my wonderful package arrived at my doorstep.  It was shipped pretty fast and I was super happy when I found it in my mailbox.
Pretty packaging, everything tucked in nice and tight. Good thing when you see everything that came in this thing!!

And here it is!!  All the goodies tucked in so nice and neat!!  Here's a quick list of what was in the box:
- Honey Stinger Energy Bar
- Kind Bar
- Island Boost
- Lenny & Larry Muscle Brownie
- Click
- Sensible Food
- Nuun
- Leg Cramps
- Ion Design
- Shower Pill
- Run Guard
- Pure Protein Bars
- Knuckle Lights Coupon
- Probar Bolt Chews

So far my husband and I have managed to get through a few items in the box, I've only had it since Wednesday and we were away all weekend but here's what we got into!!  
Kind Bar- They are made from all natural ingredients.  Good for before/during/after your run!  These are my husbands favorite.  It was eaten almost right away!!  They are really good, nuts and chocolate, who could turn it down!
Island Boost-I tried this one before my 5 miler on Thursday.  Loved the taste, it's got coconut water in it, and is gentle on the stomach!!  It's a fuel that is full of electrolytes and goodness that promises to keep your tummy happy.  
Nuun- Active hydration tabs that came prepackaged, grape and lemon-lime.  Of course I took these.  I LOVE Nuun. Drank one on Sunday after my long run and one on Monday after my hot run!  These are my favorite hydration tabs out there.  
Ion Designs-  Reflective transfer that make you visible from the road.  This one came with three different transfers and I used the flower one on one of my running hats.  Transferred easily and I am testing it out tonight on my night run!
Run Guard- Anti-chafing bar, need I say more.  My husband tried it on his underarm area during his Insanity workout and I must say it definitely looked like it worked.  He said there was less irritation from his arms rubbing together.  
ProBar Chews-  Organic chews packed with electrolytes, carbs and vitamins to use during your run.  I used these during my long run.  They tasted good and had little to no effect on my stomach.  I got the energy I needed and finished off my long run!

So, I think we've done a pretty good job on getting through some of the products.  I am taking the Sensible Foods with me today for our trip to swimming lessons.  They are 100% crunch dried foods with no preservatives.  I have some Edamame and Tropical Fruit Blends to take with me to try out.  Along with all the products, I received coupons/discount codes for 5 of the products in the box which will come in handy when I go to order additional items from the companies!
Here's a little info about the company and the subscriptions.  

"A bimonthly subscription to RunnerBox filled with products geared towards runners.  The box will arrive every other month, shipped right to your front door!  Try out new products and get discounts on your favorites!  You may continue the subscription for as long as you wish, and cancel at any time."
"RunnerBox is a curated box of running & fitness products. It's a gift to yourself or someone else, that arrives at your door from energy drinks, nutrition bars, protein shakes, gels, chews and accessories. We search out great products, from tired and true to brand new, and send them to you in our custom box."
You can find them at http://therunnerrbox.com/ or On Facebook
Here's the code for 10% off your subscription or a giftbox for a runner friend. Type in LOVETORUN at checkout for this great discount.  
Has anyone tried RunnerBox or any other monthly/bimonthly subscription boxes out there?  Do you have a favorite?